At the beginning of February my publisher gently but firmly rejected the next Richard Nottingham novel. That happens; it wasn’t what they wanted, not what they thought would sell. And they’re the experts in that area.
Yes, of course my stomach lurched when I got the news. But, really, as a writer you have two choices at that point. Dump the book entirely or listen to what the publisher’s said and rewrite the thing.
I did the latter and you know what? I’m very glad I did. What I’d had before was a very fair tale, a yarn, perfectly fine for what it was but…it didn’t have the emotional depth. That’s probably because its predecessor, At the Dying of the Year, had been so draining to write. I was all emotioned out.
The new version is more of a whodunit, as my publisher wanted. But it’s also more, a deeper, darker book, a real Richard Nottingham book, the mood of melancholy carrying over from the end of the previous volume. I dug deep into myself, and I’m glad I did, glad that I’d been made to do so. It’s a much better book, too, if I do say so myself.
The moral? That out of bad news, something far more worthwhile can grow.
On Monday I sent the new version of Fair and Tender Ladies to my publisher. Today I heard from them. They love it and they’re going to publish it. It’ll be out in September.